Yahoo Sites barely edged out Google Sites among US web properties with 137 million visitors vs. nearly 136 million, as traffic to the tax, greetings/Valentine’s Day, politics, and news sites quickly increased, according to a monthly analysis by comScore‘s Media Metrix service.?
Among the February data released by comScore:
Top 50 Properties (Unique Visitors)
Among the highlights:
- Microsoft Sites, with more than 118 million visitors, was third behind Yahoo Sites and Google Sites.
- Wikipedia Sites and Ask Network each moved up one position in the top 10, to spots seven and nine, respectively.
- Glam Media jumped 10 spots to reach position 18 with more than 29 million visitors during the month.
- Tax season propelled IRS.gov into the Top 50 ranking, to No. 45.
Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking (Advertising Reach)
Among the highlights:
- Platform A, the ad network combining Advertising.com, Tacoda, AOL, and Quigo, led the Ad Focus ranking in February, reaching 90% of the more than 185 million Americans online during the month.
- Ad networks DRIVEpm and Traffic Marketplace each gained two positions, capturing positions 11 and 14, respectively.
- Collective Media jumped four spots to position 19.
- IB Local Network entered the ranking this month at position 39, reaching 26% of Americans online.
High-Growth Sites and Categories
Tax Category Again Fastest-Gaining
- For the second month in a row, the tax category was the fastest-gaining, with a 34% increase from January levels, to more than 31 million visitors, as Americans continued preparing their taxes in advance of April 15.
- The category was led by IRS.gov with nearly 18 million visitors (up 43% from Jan.), followed by TaxACT with 9.6 million visitors (up 66%) and H&R Block with 6.7 million visitors (up 26%).
Primaries Drive Traffic to Presidential Candidates’ Sites
- With much-hyped Super Tuesday (February 5) and other primaries across the country occurring in February, visits to the politics site category increased for the second consecutive month, increasing 9% from Jan. to 15 million visitors.
- BarackObama.com led the category with 3.2 million visitors, up 46% from January, followed by HillaryClinton.com with 1.5 million visitors (up 31%).
- Republican-party nominee John McCain’s site visits increased 49%, to 888,000 visitors.
Economy, Primaries Spur News Sites
Visitor numbers to news categories, both business/finance and general news, increased in February as economic worries and presidential primaries dominated the national agenda:
- Business/finance news sites gained 6% from Jan. to reach nearly 62 million visitors, with Yahoo Finance, AOL Money & Finance, and MSN Money leading the category.
- The general news category gained 2% to nearly 107 million visitors led by Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC.
Valentine’s Day Stimulates Greeting Site Visits
- The Valentine’s Day holiday caused the flowers/gifts/greetings and e-card site categories to grow 17% and 14%, respectively.
- The flowers/gifts/greetings category registered substantial gains by flower sites, with ProFlowers.com (up 244% to 3.8 million visitors), FTD.com (up 273% to 3.8 million visitors), and 1-800-flowers.com (up 125% to 2.7 million visitors) showing strong growth.
- The e-cards category was led by AmericanGreetings Property with nearly 20 million visitors, followed by Evite.com with 5.8 million visitors and Hallmark.com with 5.1 million visitors.